The sun is shining, and the local produce is fresh and vibrant!
But, why is eating local beneficial? If you want to eat fresh, you need to eat local! Aside from supporting the community, the food actually is fresher. If a food item is grown in the U.S., it may travel 5 days to reach a distribution center before ending up in a store; if it is harvested from outside the U.S. and travels by refrigerated ship, the travel time could be several weeks. The longer the duration from harvest to consumption, the greater the losses. Produce picked at its ripest point with minimal travel time will yield a better tasting and more nutrient-rich food. This is why eating local means eating the freshest possible food.
The selection of foods available locally varies by farm and time within the harvest season. Commonly available foods might include berries, leafy greens, peppers, beans, melons, cherries, asparagus, beets, radishes, carrots, peaches, and squash.
Fresh, local produce is often featured at local markets such as The Common Market, MOM’s Organic Market, Wegmans and even in smaller quantities at Giant. Additionally, you can seek out freshly picked items at any of the following farmers’ markets per Homegrownfrederick.com. If you are not local to Frederick, you can search for a market near you:https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets
Community Supported Agriculture
Alternatively, you could choose to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. A CSA is a relationship between the farmer and the consumer whereby you invest an up-front amount in exchange for a portion of the harvest through the season, and you both share the risk. The portion sizes purchased can vary and may include full or half shares. There are several CSA programs out there, including those at Thanksgiving Farms as well as the Big White Barn. Additionally, some of these venues are open to selling their produce harvested directly to the consumer without participating in the farmers’ market.
Make It A Culinary Adventure
Eating with the seasons can present a wonderful opportunity to expand your culinary horizons. Maybe you pick up a vegetable that you’ve never seen before. Or maybe you seek a different way to prepare corn. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. Take a chance and explore your food, you never know the surprises which await you!